May 16, 2012


Walking down the hall today to heat up my lunch after a long morning getting stuff that used to be "ours" loaded onto trucks to new homes, I started to notice the ghosts.

The hallway was dark, because nobody had been in it today to turn on a light.
Some office doors were open to reveal the emptiness of chairs and furniture.
Some doors were thankfully shut to keep their emptiness hidden.
The faint sound of papers shredding came from behind me, down another hall.
Most of those who still remain had gone to lunch to escape the quiet.

Near each office, I could feel the people who used to work there.
This hallway used to house Rich, Harry, Jerry, Dianne, Kate, and Jorge.
Longer ago, Billie, Walt, Ewa...
Walking down here, you'd hear Billie laughing out loud, see Harry crouched over his computer, notice Rich's giraffes.
Jerry and Kate would be in their labs, Jerry at the bench, Kate in a lab coat, weighing samples.

The hallway used to smell of coffee; there was none in the pot today.

As I left with my hot lunch, I felt a burning in my chest that almost felt like a sob.
As I walked by Iris' old office, I realized that the ghosts have been building up for quite some time now.
Iris, who's job has been vacant for two years... Tammy, who was never replaced since she left  years ago.

And now the front offices are all empty.
Stephanie's office is empty.
Stephanie was the big sister to us all; she never lacked at least one office visitor. She knew what was going on.
We have cried and laughed in that office, probably every one of us.

I walk by Sue's office, which used to never be open unless she was sitting right there at her computer.
It is open, dark, and empty.
I think of her husband, Doug, my supervisor, and I don't even want to imagine his office.
I know that it is empty, he will not turn around to greet me when I knock and go in, he won't have nice things to say, he won't be there to discuss my future or accomplishments.
His bowl of mints will be empty.

Just like in any ghost story, you realize they are there long after they have been haunting you.

May 6, 2012

Stupendous Sunday!

I've read many a "Sensational Sunday" post by Roni Noone over the years, and love seeing how productive and positive she can be on the day that brings the doldrums out in me more than any other. It's that last day of the weekend, the day when I realize that my free time is almost at an end, and laundry hasn't been done, the house is a mess, etc.

Well, not today! Bryan and I are very energized lately by our new news--that we will be moving to Charleston in the near future for his new job, so we are quite motivated to get the house sorted, organized, have a yard sale of all the stuff we don't need, and all that jazz. So when I woke up today, the first thing I did after peeing was go to the kids' room (they were at Nana and Poppy's) and start sorting things to go to the yard sale. Bryan found me a little while later and called me crazy.

After going to iHOP (I have to spell it that way now) for breakfast, we went to church. Met up with the kids and grandparents there, and I taught a rousing lesson of Children's Church. I'm really hitting my stride there. Afterwards we partook in the "International Tasting Luncheon," at which I indulged too much and felt sickly full all the way home.

At home, I decided to get active to work off that huge lunch and breakfast. Started weedeating in the front yard... then cutting down the trees that have grown in the gaps in the concrete in the back. Finally had to get a hatchet and just swing at the stupid root systems until I could chunk them all out. Swept that up. Cleared out a bunch of rotten wood that had prevented me from weed eating an area of the yard for years. Drug that at least 50-lb bag of rotten wood to the curb. Went back up front to weed eat again with a new battery. Sat for awhile. I was exhausted. Then started going through our book shelf, sorting for the yard sale and putting other stuff away. Then went to the basement and packed more cd's.

Bryan came home from play rehearsal for dinner break, and I made the kids dinner. After he left, I fed the kids and sat down with the rest of their mashed potatoes and a beer. After that I sat there in my nice, clean computer room in a comfy chair, watched the kids playing outside through the window, and finished reading a book I had started like a year ago: Fat Woman on the Mountain, about a lady who climbed Kilamanjaro. Awesome story.

Tayan came in, starting telling me a too-long story about how the kid down the street was only 5 and could ride without training wheels. Asked if we could go learn... I smiled while listening to his tale, and said "Sure." Pumped up the bigger bike's tires, and we went to it. He was awesome. Fell a few times, but caught himself and ditched the bike well. After a few tries I was letting go of him and running beside him up and down the road.

Finally we had to call it a day. It had been a long, warm day, and they were extremely exhausted. We came in, I showered, then gave them a bath. Bryan came home, and now, finally, we are getting ready to rest for the evening. What a productive day it was. I love days like this. I was wavering right after that lunchtime debaucle, and the day could've gone quite sour from that point, but instead, I rallied, and we all had a great, sweaty, dirty, day.